Skip to content

August 15, 2017

Arizona Gold Dredging – Arizona Gold Mining

by oakley711

Arizona Gold Dredging

American Mining Rights Association  – AMRA gold dredging the Hassyampa River in Arizona.

The Hassayampa River was most actively worked between 1885 and 1890. there is reportedly an old timer saying about prospecting on the Hassyampa River that goes like:

“If ya wash yer face in the Hassayampa River ya can pan four ounces of gold dust from yer whiskers.”

Well, when it comes to prospectors exaggerating about gold, it’s similar to fishermen exaggerating about the one that got away. but, the truth is there was and still is quite a lot of gold in Arizona.

Arizona Gold Dredging

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

A gold dredge is a placer mining machine that extracts gold from sand, gravel, and dirt using water and mechanical methods.

The original gold dredges were large, multi-story machines built in the first half of the 1900s.

Small suction machines are currently marketed as “gold dredges” to individuals seeking gold: just offshore from the beach of Nome, Alaska, for instance.

A large gold dredge uses a mechanical method to excavate material (sand, gravel, dirt, etc.) using steel “buckets” on a circular, continuous “bucketline” at the front end of the dredge. The material is then sorted/sifted using water. On large gold dredges, the buckets dump the material into a steel rotating cylinder (a specific type of trommel called “the screen”) that is sloped downward toward a rubber belt (the stacker) that carries away oversize material (rocks) and dumps the rocks behind the dredge. The cylinder has many holes in it to allow undersized material (including gold) to fall into a sluice box. The material that is washed or sorted away is called tailings. The rocks deposited behind the dredge (by the stacker) are called “tailing piles.” The holes in the screen were intended to screen out rocks (e.g., 3/4 inch holes in the screen sent anything larger than 3/4 inch to the stacker).


Yes, Arizona is a very mineral rich state. From flour gold to gold nugget as large as potatoes, they’ve all been found in Arizona.

Arizona gold

Arizona gold prospecting San Domingo Wash AZ

Hassyampa River in Arizona

Vulture gold Mine

Wickenbug Vulture Mine Marker

The Vulture mine began when a prospector from California’s gold rush, Henry Wickenburg, discovered a quartz deposit containing gold and began mining the outcrop himself. In 1863, after Henry Wickenburg discovered the Vulture mine, Vulture City, a small mining town, was established in the area. The town once had a population of 5,000 citizens. After the mine closed, the city was abandoned and became a “ghost town”. The deposit was later sold to Benjamin Phelps, who represented a group of investors that eventually organized under the name of Vulture Mining Company.

Sure, the easy to get surface gold is long gone. But, for the modern-day gold prospector, who enjoys the great outdoors, and doesn’t mind some real hard work, the gold is there!


Arizona gold prospecting

Some of the local Arizona gold prospectors say that the gravels in the Hassayampa River contain good gold for a a number of miles below San Domingo Wash.

Arizona Gold Dredging








Related Post

Leave a Reply

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments